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Gaza First-Ever Military Drills Messages

In an important development, resistant Palestinian groups in Gaza Strip conducted their first-ever joint military drills on Tuesday on the anniversary of the 2008 Israeli war on Gaza.

According to the Reuters, the drills, codenamed “strong pillar”, started with firing 8 rockets into the sea in a display of the levels of the combat readiness of the Gaza-based forces. Arranged by the “joint operation room” of the resistance factions in the besieged Palestinian enclave, the drills also included ground and coast exercises for possible future countering of the Israeli forces.

The timing of the exercises is highly significant. Since late November, the Israeli fighter jets struck Gaza positions several rounds, the last one on Saturday targeting Gaza central hospital.

Many analysts hold that the crisis-hit Israeli regime and Benjamin Netanyahu’s main goal behind the strikes on Gaza is to create tension, cover up the home crises, and influence the new White House administration policy as Trump is departing. The Palestinian war games carried a significant warning message to the Israelis telling them that any adventure will meet a firm response from the resistance in Gaza and that the resistant factions are fully ready to strike back.

“Our arms are present and our decision to defend our people is unified. These joint maneuvers alone obviously express our unity of decision. The resistance today is stronger, harder, and more capable than before in countering the foe and deterring it. The resistance will not allow the enemy to impose the rules of engagement,” Abu Hamza, a spokesman to the Islamic Jihad’s military wing Saraya Al-Quds, said at a press conference.

From another aspect, the maneuvers are held as the Fatah movement eyes return to the so-called peace negotiations with Tel Aviv under duress of the Arab rulers, not long after frequent Israeli breaking of commitments in the annexation of illegal Al-Quds settlements in West Bank and planning to build further settlements with the US green light. But the resistant groups assure the Palestinian people who are furious and concerned about the pro-compromise Palestinian factions that the resistance is ready to defend and the enemy schemes will not be implemented thanks to the arms of the resistant groups.

Meanwhile, one of the considerable issues is putting up huge posters of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani’s along the Gaza coastal route. The move signaled that the path of the top Iranian general, who was assassinated a year ago at a direct order from Donald Trump, will be walked towards the liberation of Palestine. The poster billboards sent strong messages to Tel Aviv.

The joint operation room stated that the resistance of all Palestinian groups provided a genuine guarantee to the realization of the Palestinian ideals.

Abu Hamza said that the compromisers and the occupation-affiliated mercenaries will be thrown in the garbage dump of history and Palestine liberation will remain the top ideal of the Arabs and Muslims.

On the other side, frustrated with the disarmament of the resistance using military force, in the past few years the Israeli regime used economic pressure to bring the resistance to its knees. The occupying regime sets up roadblocks ahead of the arrival of supplies to Gaza, especially funds and fuel to its only power plant and facilities to its hospitals. The recent drills can send warnings to the Israelis about the consequences of the continuation of the inhuman economic siege on Gaza.

Joint operation room: Unity secret to victory

Aside from the goals behind the maneuvers, what is also so important is the centrality of the joint operation room at the command of the combat forces. The joint operation room was founded in 2018 at the time of the “March of Return” rallies and is comprised of 12 resistant factions aiming to exchange experiences, focus, and coordinate decisions against the Israeli occupation.

Actually, the center in Gaza was the most important achievement of the March of Return that was arranged in 2018 to highlight the Palestinian right to return home. Observers note that the room is a big success as since then several successful anti-Israeli operations have been launched.

The attack on the Israeli military bus in Miflasim settlement bordering northern Gaza On November 12, 2018, was the first fruit of the joint operation center.

The center accommodates the key wings of the Palestinian resistance including Hamas military wing Izz ad-Din Qassam Brigades, Saraya Al-Quds, and the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine military wing Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. Furthermore, the National Resistance Brigades, Naser Salaheddin Brigades, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades that were originally founded by Fatah but not affiliated with it officially now are also members of the joint operation room.

This military coalition is a serious warning to the Israeli leaders, telling them that on the other side of the barbed wire fences of the Gaza border the death swamps await the Israeli troops.

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